Last year, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day. Even though we had just started the adoption process, in my heart I was a mama. But for several years prior to that, Mother’s Day was another brutal reminder that the thing I longed for more than any other was uncontrollably out of my reach. For as long as I can remember, my mama and I have spent the holiday in Panama City Beach with my aunt and cousins. And during the years of infertility I was so glad to be at the beach and not at church. I realize that probably sounds horrible. But to sit in church and have a whole service dedicated to the honor of being a mother and recognizing the woman with the most children, the oldest mom, etc. is enough to send a woman suffering with infertility into a mental breakdown. Not to mention, you feel like the only woman in the congregation who didn’t stand or get a flower. That’s pretty much the final nail in the coffin. Of course we need to celebrate and recognize Mothers. But as the church, we have got to be aware that sadly, there are many in our pews that are in the midst of their own personal hell on earth. We need to make a conscious effort to pray for and encourage those who desperately want to be mamas. (And let us also not forget women who have miscarried or lost their mothers.)
According to the CDC, from 2006-2010, ~7.4 million women received infertility treatment.. 7.4 million. That is an astronomical number. But having gone through infertility, I can tell you that despite millions being in the same boat, you feel totally and utterly alone. Even though it’s not true, it appears that everyone around you is pregnant, getting pregnant easily or getting pregnant without wanting to be.
So how should we handle Mother’s Day? This article from the Christian Post states that while it’s Biblical to honor mothers, we should also incorporate a special prayer time for infertile couples into the church service. And I love this blog post a lady “wrote” to her pastor. She stated that when the pastor asked the mothers to stand, “real women stood, empty shells sat”. It broke my heart to read those words, but she’s exactly right. She also listed some great suggestions of how to honor mothers and those who long to be.
I have always planned at some point to blog about infertility. I have much more to say, but with Mother’s Day coming up next week I thought this would be a great time to start. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, please take the time to pray for her this week. Give her a call or send a card letting her know you’re thinking of her.
If you’re reading this and walking the same road I did, please know that I am praying you don’t have to spend another Mother’s Day not being a mother.